Monday, January 30, 2012

In the still of the night...

 Every chance to touch another life,  every chance to be the bigger person, every chance to say the kind word, every chance to not pass on the gossip, every chance to feed the hungry, every chance to house the homeless, every chance to comfort the inconsolable,  every chance to guide the lost, every chance to love the unlovable, every chance to help the helpless, every chance to stand tall and be proud, every chance to lie still and be quiet, every chance to make someone smile, every chance to be the best person you can be, every day.

  Because you just never, ever know....


  My friend Roger died today.  For him, this part of the journey is finished and I have high hopes that he will continue onward, ever onward.  I am sad, yet relieved, and the paradox coupled with the fact that he violently died at his own hand causes me great conflict. In my meditations this morning, I got to think about the illusions of this life and the emotional charges we attach to these illusions. In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, it clearly states that "...when we are faced at death with the FACT that our body is an illusion, we will be able to recognize its illusory nature without fear, to calmly free ourselves from all attachment to it, and to leave it behind willingly, even gratefully and joyfully, knowing it now for what it is. In fact, you could say, we will be able really and completely, to die when we die, and so achieve ultimate freedom."

  And so, this is what I wish for my friend, to achieve the ultimate freedom in death. And wish him a continuing journey of peace.


   It has been an interesting day. Taking it slow(er) and easier, I put a small pork roast into the crock pot this morning and spent the rest of the day doing small things and napping.  I didn't accomplish much, besides 2 enlightening phone conversations I had with two separate women. I don't feel up to snuff still and think I will take the rest of the week to recuperate as much as I possibly can. I walked outside a time or two, but not for long, as I have to avoid sunlight because of the antibiotic. I fed my chickens and gathered eggs later in the day. I walked down to the mailbox. It was a ridiculously warm day, apparently we broke a 120 year record with temps of 69 degrees.  They think it will be over 70 tomorrow. Last nights supper included braised kale from the garden, tonight I steamed broccoli crowns. I'm trying to include more alkaline foods every day. We already eat a lot of greens feels like spring, and for the first time in 7 years of living here, I had a January electric bill of UNDER 200 dollars !!!!  I turned off the furnace and opened windows today for a short while (I was dressed in sweats) and turned on the ceiling fans to try and blow out some of the cooties that I am sure are swirling around in the air from my coughing.  lol  It was only for a couple of hours, and when the house temperature reached 65, I closed all the windows.  It felt so good to breathe fresh clean air.


  I should go to bed. It's closing in on midnight and I'm tired enough.  The dogs have all been out twice, the cats are in (mostly) and the leftovers are put away. I haven't done the dishes and I really don't want to...think I'll wait until morning. There's not that many....

  Thank you all for your kind words yesterday, I feel loved and supported by your prayers and kindnesses.

   May we all be especially blessed....


Sunday, January 29, 2012

A glass of mango/guava juice...and thou...

 . Or something.  Read about the antibiotic I am taking and it said to stay away from caffeine..this right after I made a pitcher of green tea/earl grey for iced tea. Sigh..the bright side is all it said was that it would intensify the effects. lol. (Like that's a bad thing)...  Also supposed to stay out of sunlight. It's Cipro--isn't that the stuff they give to people exposed to Anthrax and the Bird Flu ?????  Crikey.

     Got some chicken thighs in the microwave thawing. The Irishman would like lemon chicken for his Sunday dinner, and I thought I still had some boneless/skinless breasts in there somewhere, but I can't locate them. Just as well. This package of thighs has been in there almost a year. (oops).  It'll work. I'll marinate them in some lemon juice and bake them, I think, and then make a lemon sauce to go on them atop a bed of Jasmine rice. (Can you tell I'm feeling better???)  

  It's been an emotional morning here for me. I got a text this morning from a friend telling me that another friend of ours is at St Louis University Hospital on life support.  He is about my age (might be a little younger) and sober a lot of years. He was involved in a semi crash a few weeks ago and was almost ready to return to work.  Apparently on Saturday night there was some kind of altercation and a stand-off at his place of work. He left there (I think) and went to his house, where he doused the place in gasoline and tried to burn it down. When it didn't burn, he shot himself in the head. He is on life support, last word, but not expected to live.  And I just can't imagine.... he has always been a loner, something that probably happens when you're a long distance trucker. But every time I saw him, he always had a smile and a kind word. He SEEMED okay. I don't know what happens to make a person feel they have no other option besides killing themselves. I think about how lonely and hopeless that place must be, and it breaks my heart. And I am as guilty as anyone for not knowing what's been going on with him, calling him, making sure he knew that somebody, anybody, cared.  It is absolutely tragic.

   It is a gorgeous January day outside. Must be at least 45 degrees.  This next week they're predicting temps in the 50's and 60's. Hell, I may as well plant some spinach. lol  One of the worst windier storms we had tore up the plastic on our greenhouse, so I can't plant anything there. But we could put some cold frames over a bed, couldn't we? (And by WE, of course I mean my husband). lol  And if we do that, we could plant some other things too. I was just out back, emptying my compost bucket and gathering eggs, and I stopped by the kale bed, which is still doing pretty well, everything considered.  I plucked a small new-ish leaf and popped it into my mouth, and was blissed out by the sweetness of it.  In January. Ahhhhhh......

  Well, I'd better get in the kitchen and get that marinade started.  I've folded a load of laundry and am taking it slow and easy today. I did a little cleaning yesterday (Thanks anyway, Kristen!!  xoxoxo) and a little laundry and was worn out by the time it was over. Spent the rest of the afternoon watching The Vicar of Dibley --from a boxed set I got us for Xmas a couple of years ago. It was awesome.

  Hope everyone is well and happy...and don't forget to pay attention to the people in your life. If they're needing a friend, or an ear, or a shoulder...make sure they have one.  If all of us let the people we know that we care--that we're here for them--maybe tragedies like my friend Roger can be averted.

    It can't hurt to try.


Friday, January 27, 2012

What day is it ?

I think I have been run over by a semi...filled with crud.  My body hurts from lying around so much. My throat is sore from coughing so much. My head hurts and my eyes water and my nose ribs hurt and I'm so tired...

  I went to the doctor today (finally) because I have been sick for too many days in a row.  And the coughing is keeping me from sleeping, and it's the weekend and the over the counter cough stuff isn't touching this crap. so the doc did some cultures and some x-rays and came back after way too long and told me I have a bacterial infection in my lungs. The rest of it is just a bad bad cold. No fever, no extreme symptoms (which would point to flu).  He gave me antibiotics and codeine cough syrup and told me to stay at home for at least 4 days and let this clear up before it turns into pneumonia. I took him at his word....I have had bacterial pneumonia, and I sure don't want that again. Because as bad as I feel now, that time I really thought I was going to meet my maker.

 Ai Yi Yi...


 Yesterday afternoon, (in the middle of one of my sleep-a-thons), the vet's office called and said they had a lot of cancellations (people afraid of the predicted weather) and that if we wanted to move Bella's spay appointment up to Friday, they would have her in. In my muddled brain, I didn't even think about it, just muttered yes, sure. So, this morning, the Irishman hauled her 55 pound butt up to the vet's office. They kept her all day, and after he took me to the doctor and brought me back home, he took my prescriptions and headed up to have them filled and pick her up by 5. (The closest pharmacy is 15 miles to the north, right on the way to the vet's office). Bless his heart.  He is a good man, and I am one very lucky woman...
  She's still pretty wonky...and in some pain, I would guess. Keeps moving from one blanket to the next, one room to another. We just put the water dish down for her--they said after 8:30 and no food til tomorrow.  She keeps trying to vomit, but there's no food in her belly since midnight last night. She looks so pitiful....she'll be better in the morning....


 Dear sweet Beth Marie has honored me with  a blog award. And now, in my run down condition, I have to try to think of 5 blogs to hand it off to. (just kidding)  It's this one:

 Growing up in a German farming community, I know that Liebster means beloved ... and there are several blogs that fit the bill... 

  It's for us bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers and each must link back to the blog they got it from.
 (May I have the envelope please.???  drum roll)

 1) Lori, at Beyond Dirt, my Creative  Journey  because she thinks like I do! lol  

 2) MEEMSNYC  at  Gardening in the burroughs because she continues to amaze me with her blog and recipes and everything in between!

 3) Linda, at Hello, it's me  Because I admire her so much, her fiber art, her heart and her courage. xoxoxo

  4) Judy at  My freezer is full   She juggles the farm, the job and the family, as well as all the stuff in between.

and finally....

 5) Dear Wild Magnolia. Her blog is a thing of beauty, as is she. Reading her is sure to brighten your day!


  Wow. I did it, and my head didn't even explode. Although I do feel like it's time to lie down again....this stuff is kicking my butt. My house is a giant disaster. The laundry is piling up. And my kitchen is a mess. (That's the hardest thing-to me). I try to never go to bed with a dirty sink, but it's happened twice in the past few days...and may happen again tonight.  Hopefully the Queen of  England won't be coming by for a visit any time soon.  (An old joke--I have always been a little whack about cleaning, and my mother once said, "What?- Are you expecting the Queen of England????" ) 

  Alright, my darlings...I am off to the bed again. I pray that you all stay well and happy....and take care when out and about in the inclement weather (which we are supposed to have coming in again tonight).  Whether you're walking or careful!!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Ick. I think I'm sick.

 I remember reading a little blurb about actor John Gielgud once in the Readers Digest.  It was talking about him being in a very popular play and was invited to an after hours party in his honor. He apparently thought he needed rest, or was coming down with something and declined the invite..and sent along a little note saying;

   "Gielgud...doesn't feel good."


  And I don't feel good today. My throat (isn't really sore) feels swollen and not right. MY stomach hurts a little.  I have a tiny cough. And I am basically exhausted. I got up at 8:30 this morning and then lay down for a nap at 11:30 and slept until 2.  I am just NOT right.  sigh.... I am taking Vitamin C and also echinacea with C...and--oooooo...I just found the zinc lozenges-I knew I had some somewhere.

  I should be in bed now instead of blathering away about nothing.


  Bella woke up feeling much better--whatever was wrong last night must have some simple, passing thing. Thank goodness. Everyone but me is now in bed and asleep. And I should be too. I told myself I would be in bed at a decent time tonight and now it's already after midnight. Damn. I get so lost reading blogs...


  So, off to bed I go. It's a chilly 27 degrees outside and warmer in here. I have my flannel jammies on and really there is nothing stopping me from heading in to the other room. I'll snuggle into those warm sheets and big quilt and sleep the sleep of the innocent.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Has the world gone crazy ???


  Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!!

  It's the year of the Dragon. 

My year.



 It's crazy out there.  I just checked again because between the time I let the dogs out and then let them back in, the temperature came up another 5 degrees. It's now 51.  FIFTY-ONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Do you see how crazy that sounds??)  lol  We have been having thunder and lightning and rain and warm. And it's January, people!  

  It was so foggy on the drive home tonight that I couldn't see 3 feet in front of the car. Had to drive home about 30 mph all the way.

  And it's supposed to be very windy and drop back down to the low 30's tomorrow morning.

  I am absolutely flamboozled by it all.


Something is wrong with our Bella...she wouldn't take a cookie this evening and she wouldn't even eat a Good& Plenty (her favorite snack). She came in here wanting to be put in her crate and she's acting all strange and I hope it's something that will go away tonight...She went out for a little while but didn't want to stay long.  She seems to be sleeping it my fingers crossed...


I am taking my Oreck in to the shop for a cleaning and tune-up in the morning. Then I'm meeting someone for breakfast that I haven't seen or talked to in a while...looking forward to that.  Then I'll mosey back home and take care of a few things. Then it's off again...


 Got a lot of housecleaning and laundry done today while the Irishman was gone...vacuumed everything since the vac will be in the shop a day or two.  Maybe that's why my neck and back are hurting so bad tonight...I cannot for the life of me seem to get comfortable. In the midst of all the cleaning, I managed to cook an oven fried chicken supper with green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy. A real midwestern fare. lol  My husband was like a little boy--Oooo--GRAVY!!!!   lol--I don't make gravy very often, and he loves it.  We had a quick meal together before I left for MissB's. 


Still trying to learn how to use my iPhone. It's getting better all the time, and I'm sure I've tapped as much of it's potential as I have my own brain. lol  But I'm finally easily using the keypad, which is a big change from the one on my old phone, and which took a while to master. I'm not great at it, but I am a lot better.  I've taken a few pictures and I'm learning to navigate it a little better.


 I am really feeling weird. There's a low humming in my head/ears. I'm faintly nauseous and stiff as a board in all my joints. Strange....


 Time for bed, I think.
 This too shall pass.




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday in the Tundra...

Half heartedly looked for pictures of ice, ice storms, ice on the chicken coop...anything! But there was nothing I could fine that suited me.  LOL  I did not take any pictures yesterday or today.

   Got a call from MissB's niece this morning asking me about getting out and said it didn't look good over here. She said not at her place either. I got to stay home today with my Irishman. I got to stay in my pajamas ALL day and watch schmaltzy Hallmark Channel movies. He almost went outside to get the kerosene heater cleaned up and ready to use if needed, but he never made it.  (He even had his big mud boots on!) We had a late breakfast of home made buttermilk pancakes and eggs and hot dark chocolate.  Then about 3 we had a big bowl of popcorn.  Then at about 6 we had pizza and salad...with peach short cake for dessert.  It was an absolutely lazy day. 

  The movies we watched were all  a string of stuff all based on books written by someone named Janette Oke (Love Comes Softly)...about homesteaders in the late 1800's (I think)  and all about love and family values and God.  I told the Irishman that I was nearly family values saturated...but they were lovely movies.  (Probably not anything I would ever have watched unless we were having an Iced-in day ). And actually, it was really something, watching the trials they faced and the hard realities of living the homesteading life back then. 

  By dark, all the ice had melted off the roads and the temps actually came up to about 30. At one point , all the dogs were in the house but one, and when I went looking for her, I stepped out the back door and called her. Her location was given away by 2 male cats sitting in the yard and staring intently at the pond. Of course, it was the snow dog.

  You must know that one of my biggest fears here this time of year, is that one of the dogs will be traversing the icy pond and fall in and get caught under the ice and drown.  I called and called and she finally came dancing across the ice and got to the shore and came in. Her poor little pads were very cold and sore to touch, but she was thrilled with herself. at Honeysuckle Hill, we had a very atypical Saturday...lazy and homey and filled with love and cats and dogs.  Short posting tonight as I am very ready for bed (did NOT sleep well last night, tossed and turned all night.  I thought about doing laundry and a myriad of other things, but I didn't.  Just laid around and loved me some pups and loved that big old man of mine.

  Goodnight all...I'm heading for Dreamland....


Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP, Etta James...

                                                 When I am silent,
                                            I fall into the place where everything is music...



   Another loss in the music, will be missed....


    Ah...winter has descended on us with a vengeance.  The Irishman and I went to Litchfield for a late lunch and then a matinee.  We ate sushi at the Chinese buffet and then moseyed on over to see We Bought A Zoo with Matt Damon. It was a great movie and full of laughter and tears and beauty--as a movie should be. 

  We came out of the theater to find that an ice storm had happened and we slipped and slid to the car and were (luckily) able to get the doors unlocked. We sat in the parking lot for over half an hour waiting for the windshield to defrost enough so that the Irishman could scrape it.  The 22 mile drive home went at a snails where could we travel more than 25 mph.  Our road was of course the worst....and that's where I nearly lost control of the car twice sliding into the ditch and me doing everything I could to keep that from happening. (BTW--the Irishman was very impressed with my skill. lol) You know the drill...turning INTO the slide, then turning out of it when it started sliding the other direction. I pulled it down into first gear for the remainder of the road and crawled down the hill and then up the hill into our driveway.  I can't tell you how relieved I was to be home!!!

   It's warmed up to 21 now...and there's no more forecast after midnight tonight. 

    I wound up not going to bed until after 3:30 AM last night/morning.   I didn't get up until 10:30 this morning...but I felt better.  Thanks everyone for your kind remarks yesterday...and I know that I have always been guilty of being a do-er and staying ridiculously busy to avoid things of an emotional/moody nature.  Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing...maybe everybody gets to find their own way of dealing with life on life's terms.  I always kind of operated on the premise that if you go fast enough, the s**t storm can't catch you.  lol


   I have connected with an old junior high school friend on Facebook. I've thought about her a gazillion times over the years, wondering what she was doing, where she was know--regular stuff. Because I moved away from here and was gone for over thirty years, I have few connections with anyone. One friend from high school, Cathy, hunted me down and we see each other for lunch now and again.  At the end of the 9th grade my parents moved us out to the country and I started a different school district and I never saw my friends Randi or Joan again. Randi is a school teacher (I always thought she would be).  I thought I would be a teacher too, for years. But it never happened.  While she was graduating and going to college, I was running off and living in the Rocky Mountains, and then on to California...having the adventures of a lifetime... But we were girls of the 60's and she and I were a lot alike in the way we thought and looked at the world.  Little hippies in training.  lol   We are emailing and I hope I get the chance to meet up with her someday soon. 

   Life is funny...the way it dips and dives and curls around your feet.  The way the years rush by at a maddening pace and  you don't know where they went or why things happened the way they did and what if?? Always what if??   Sigh....

    Just for today, I am grateful to have lived the life I've had.  I've been places and seen things  and done things that I never would have guessed.  I've known people and I've loved and I've lost and I've loved again.  I've stood at 3 different ocean's shores and been humbled. I've been at the top of the Andes at Macchu Picchu  and been blown AWAY.  I've climbed Diamond Head in Hawaii  and I've sat at the top of Pike's Peak and watched the little hail and lightning coming down around me like a movie.  I've walked through San Francisco China Town and I've been in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County and seen the way the Amish live. I've stood at the southernmost tip of the United States and looked at Cuba. I've driven through Idaho's Hells Canyon on the Snake River and I've visited the Outer Banks on the eastern coast of the Carolinas.  I have snow camped in Yosemite  and been face to face with a grizzly bear. I have seen up close and personal the beautiful waterfalls and Half Dome and all the things that Ansel Adams brought to us through the lens of his camera.  I have been to Canada and I have been to Mexico and  I have played naked and pregnant in a field of wildflowers.  I have helped people learn to read and write, I have sat with friends until the last breath escaped their bodies, and I have helped bring puppies into the world. I have grown my own food and I have learned to survive on almost no money or assistance, and I have danced until the sun came up. I have listened to music that made me cry and I have looked at art that has touched my heart in places I didn't know existed.

  There are a lot of things I could have done differently in my life that would have made for a more...comfortable retirement, more respectable history. lol  But I have lived this life of mine with GUSTO, baby. I have wrung out of it every ounce of pleasure and beauty I could find. And  I don't regret one single minute of it. If I die tomorrow, I can only say thank you--it's been a helluva ride.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

A strange day...

  It started out strange and it got stranger still in the middle, and now it's ending up...well, strange.

  I woke up tired. I was up at the butt crack of dawn, thanks to sundry and assorted animals whining and meowing and squawking.  I stayed up and cleaned the kitchen and came in and got on the computer. I was out of sorts from the minute I came out of the bedroom.  I cleaned up 2 pee spots and had to fill the dry-as-a-bone water dish in the kitchen, before cleaning up the dishes from his majesty's breakfast. The toaster was out, the butter was out...oh, YOU know.

  And it just was downhill from there.

  At about 10 AM, I decided to watch television.  It was so cold today, about 17, that the dogs didn't want to stay out for very long, so they were in and out, in and out.  I watched a very good movie starring Timothy Hutton called Multiple Sarcasms...all about a guy who is married and has a child and is an architect...wakes up one day and realizes he hates his life.  See it if you can find was good.  When it was over there was nothing for me to do but go back to bed. I had nothing on my agenda except a 4 PM appointment at the vets office for Molly to get her shots. I was in bed at noon and slept until after 2:30. I got up and got dressed and took the dog to the vet (60 miles round trip). The 4 o'clock appointment got hijacked by a woman with a very sick cat, who took up WAY more than her allotted time slot. The vet didn't see us until almost 4:45.  I spent that time walking the JRT (Jack Russell Terrorist)  around the building, through the rooms where the feed and supplies are stored, --basically anywhere to keep her away from the other dogs in the waiting room.  She was actually being good, for the most part, but she really cannot be trusted. Plus, there were 3 little yapper/Yorkie kinds of dogs, which are way too tempting for her. It was after 5 by the time we finished and we lit out of there like our ass was on fire. I still had to stop by the market before getting home to make supper for the Irishman.  Vegetarian meal night and I had no idea what I was going to do.

  We made it home with no vomiting or too much of anything extreme happening, except that the dog was whining and wanted me to pet her constantly the whole way home.  Not easy keeping your hand on a dog while you drive through rush hour traffic. (OK--rush hour traffic might be a bit of an exaggeration for Litchfield, IL...but people were going home from work....)

  I came home and made big fluffy vegetable omelets for supper with a nice mixed green salad on the side. A little raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing and we were in business.  Then, about an hour after we ate, I went back in the kitchen and cleaned up. Then I made big soft buttermilk sweet biscuits to use for peach shortcakes for dessert. Opened a jar of home canned peaches and dumped them on the warm biscuits and topped with whipped cream. It was delicious. 

  We watched tv for about 3 and a half hours...too long for my old crippled body to sit in one place. My back aches and my shoulders are tight and my neck is getting stiff again. (BTW--3 or 4 days ago, I had a BAD stiff neck and shoulders for several days running...husband had to rub me down every night. Then there was an earthquake about 50 miles from here in a St. Jacob. It was small, as 'quakes go...only a 2.5. But when it was over, the neck and shoulder pain went away. This is what happens to me when there is a change in the earth's magnetic field, I think.)   Anyway, I'm stiffening up and wondering today if I should see about getting checked for joints and bones hurt all the time it seems like.

  And now, here I am.  A group of people I know and have gotten together with and had out to my house on numerous occasions...are all together down in Key West.  And I couldn't go. And I am feeling sorry for myself tonight. And lonely. And in a mood. And I hate when I get like this, because it colors everything.   The shit that starts running through my head is poisonous and deceptive and irrational. And I feel like that little girl from the wrong side of town that nobody picked for teams and never fit in and always did and said all the wrong things.  The one that never had the right clothes and never had the right toys and could never quite stack up. Never tall enough, or smart enough or good enough.  And I think nobody cares if I got to go to Key West or not and my one friend here doesn't really care about being my friend enough to even call before she leaves town for 3 months.  And I don't know how this happens. That I can go from 0 to 60 in a few short hours and suddenly nothing in my life is right.  And I sit here and tears trickle down my face and I wish things were different. 

  Boo Hoo.  I can almost hear a whispering "This too shall pass".  I know that I need to be a little more compassionate and honest with myself about some things.  I am tired and my body hurts and the cold makes it even worse. Living with chronic pain is no picnic. Ten and a half years ago my whole world shifted.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now.

  Tomorrow is a new day and things will probably look a lot better.  Being in this place is a hard thing for an optimist. Pollyannas like me have a worse time with fleeting depression than you'd think.  And maybe it isn't even depression--maybe I'm just sad. Or tired.  Or not spending enough time in a grateful spiritual practice.

  When I do take the time to look for the things I have to be grateful for, and not spend so much time cursing all the things I DON'T have...I am a pretty happy girl.  Feeling sorry for myself is like sitting in a pool of ICK...I don't like the way it feels and the longer I sit in it, the harder it is to get out of it.  There was a time when I used drugs and alcohol to change the way I felt at the drop of a hat.  These days, I have to sit with it and feel it and watch it walk  on through.  I have to deliberately live my life in a manner that creates an attitude of gratitude...if I want to be happy.  It's not hard.

  But today has been a strange day and it feels as though the planets are in retrograde, or my neurons aren't firing in the correct order.  And I am powerless to stop the backwards regression of my otherwise sunny personality.  LOL  So off to bed I will go. Sleep, hopefully, will put me out of harms way and cause this nasty mind of mine to stop the torment for a few hours.  And when I wake up to another cold morning, full of love and critters and aches and pains....maybe I'll be able to see things through a different pair of glasses. 

  Or maybe I'll just pull the quilts up over my head and refuse to come out.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Look For A New Year? We'll see...

  Okay, okay...I know we are already wayyy into the new year, but it's only today that I played with the look of this bad boy.  I don't know if I like it or not.

   Been a quiet morning here at Honeysuckle Hill.  Warmed up enough finally for the dogs to go out.  17 when I got up and about 25 now.  And sunny. With blue skies.

   So, the sick plot, not only have my brother, his daughter, my sister-in-law been sick, but about 9 more people for sure that were all at the Memorial Service for my aunt have turned up sick too. All within hours of the service..all with the same crazy symptoms. Diarrhea, vomiting, chills...very flu-like, yet not. My SIL came up with the idea of a Norovirus from the restaurant, but over half the sick people didn't eat there. My brother and I and my other brothers wife who did are the only 3 of our group not sick. It must have been someone who came through the service, hugging and kissing everyone.  I was probably the least social of the group. lol  Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed that I don't come down with anything...eating extra kimchi and taking my vitamins.

  I found a small package of 2 or 3 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless) in the freezer, and am trying to decide what kind of simple supper to make with them.  Thinking maybe a kind of a primevera pasta dish, with egg noodles maybe?  I've only got an hour and a half before I have to leave, and still need to take a shower I'd better get on the ball.

  I came on to see if I'd be able to get on the computer today....wasn't sure what the big guys were doing exactly. Mozilla is one of the ones taking part in the blackout.  Whatever that meanhs. lol

  The stew turned out good...the Irishman loved it, even if he did get a mouthful of peanut butter that wasn't quite dissolved completely. lol It surprised him more than anything...It was seriously filling and satisfying...

   I'm not sure why I'm posting here today...I really don't have anything to say, and there's not much happening here on the old home place. The chickens are out happily scratching the dirt, the pond is frozen over, the skies are blue. The dogs are out front laying around in the sun,. and little Roxie is here in the office, lying in a pool of sunlight.  I'm thinking that in my next life, I want to be a dog...sleeping and playing, eating and pooping...and doing it all over again. No responsibilities, no worries...just a good quiet life. Get plenty of pets and snuggle up to someone when it's cold.  Be amazed by everything, every day.  Love unconditionally.  Lie right on top of the heater vent on the floor if you feel a little chilly.  lol  


   Maybe I'll finish this tonight.....later, taters...

  Okay, so it's later...much later. After midnight actually.   The chicken breasts (2) turned out to be sweet and sour chicken that went over the top of the leftover brown rice. It was magnificent, if I do say so myself. Simple, with only a few carrots, and onions and multi-colored bell peppers in it. And pineapple, of course. And Chinese 5 Spice and ground ginger, and soy sauce.  And celery seed.  LOL  But you can trust me when I tell you it was as good as any I've made.

   I am tired tonight, the end of my week, and am so looking forward to being home. I do have to take Miss Molly the Jack Russell Terrorist to the vet tomorrow at 4, but that's okay. It's time for vaccines again. But the whole rest of the day is mine...woohoo!  It amazes me that I used to work 65-75 hours a week for years and it never fazed me...I must be all used up.  Getting old ain't for sissies, as my  buddy used to always say....he was right.

   Going off to meet the Sandman now...sending sweet dreams your way too....



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Tenacious Tuesday's noon.  I am still in my pajamas.  The world has not ended. (Yet.)  lol

    And just in case you were worried...

  I have been (no, not curled up in a fetal position on the couch), but in the kitchen...scrubbing and chopping and olive-oiling a butt load of vegetables for the making of a grand stew for supper.  These are getting ready to go into the oven for a light roasting, to bring out the sweetness.  It's a melee of carrots and turnips, and onions and garlic, and sweet potatoes and celery and parsnips.  Most things from my garden, a few things not.  I also have this going on, on top of the stove:

My favorite cast iron skillet full of my favorite vegetable...braised Brussels sprouts. They will go into the stew as well. At the end. If I don't eat them all first.  I just cut those little babies in half and put them cut side down in  the skillet of hot oil. O.M.G.  They are so good, topped with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper. I will cook a pot of brown rice and serve the stew over that, and it will be a yummy, comforting meal on a cold winter night. The stew will also have a spoonful or three of organic peanut butter in it, pushing the protein up a little more. And lulling our taste buds into Nirvana.

  My house smells so good...I cannot tell you.  Yesterdays high temps of 70 degrees have come to a crashing halt. A gigantic thunderstorm last night brought in a cold front and it was 37 when I got up and has dropped at least 5 more degrees now. Maybe more. We are supposed to get snow by Thursday. It was a serious storm, with tornadic winds and blasting rain and lightning like you can't believe. It woke me up from a dead sleep about 1 AM and I ran here to unplug the computer and my phone.  :)

  I smell veggies starting to toast...better go check....Mmmm...time for stirring. They are just about done,.

  I got out the new rice cooker (remember?? The one the Irishman got at their company Christmas party??)  It's big- a 16 cup cooker. And I just opened the box for the first tie and it is a steamer as well!  Very cool.  I washed it all up real quick and will get the rice going here in a minute. Then I will head for the shower, as I have to leave for MissB's by 2:30.

  It's cold and blustery and the dogs have all gone in and out and in and out. They don't want to stay out too long...not even little Caylee the snow dog. She says snow is one thing, but this bone chilling cold is something else entirely. lol  Even the chicken, who were dying to get out of the coop, have gone back in.  I wish I could just stay here in my little coop today and tomorrow and then I can stay home for 2 days in a row. And not even get dressed at ALL, if I don't want to.  lol

  I will put the recipe for this stew on my food blog, once it's all done and I have pictures of the finished product. It's really  satisfying meatless meal...and we're trying to do that at least 3 times a week. As well as eat out of our pantry.  I do need to stop at the market for toilet paper and butter, lol...but other than that I haven't bought anything in about 2 weeks. (Can that be right??)  goody.

  If I had more time, I would make a loaf of artisan bread to go with this...sheesh....why didn't I think of that this morning??  lol

  A quick FYI--my nephew (thank you all for your loving thoughts and prayers) is doing well...had another surgery on the lung and they siphoned a lot of fluid off the other one. He is off the ventilator, I think, and is trying to talk and has kissed his sweet wife. The cat scan looked good and the other things are healing up nicely.  Again--thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughtfulness.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

A beautiful sunny day...

...on the heels of bitter cold and snow. We are down to icy sludge mostly now, although our yard is always one of the last ones to see the snow melt away.  The hill in front of our driveway is still a little treacherous, but it will be cleared by today if the temps reach close to 50 like they're saying.

  A little sunshine goes a long way.  lol

  Been a long week. I got home Friday evening, after making the trip down to the memorial service for my aunt and my niece's birthday too. I got her her first "real" jewelry box (i.e. NOT one with Hello Kitty on it) and a pair of birthstone earrings  (garnet) that are dragonflies.  She loves dragonflies. After all, she IS 9

  It was a bittersweet trip...a blessing to see so many of my aunt's friends turn out to say their goodbyes, and a lot of family members as well. I was taken aback by the sudden (to me) descent of one of my aunts into Altzheimers..she couldn't think of who I was...and it broke my heart, watching her struggle, trying to pull something up out of her memory.  Something in me hated that it was me she couldn't remember, and not either one of my brothers sitting next to me.  On a brighter note, they had several picture boards and I got to see some great pictures of my parents and all the brothers and sisters of my dad's family, and most of them I hadn't seen before. Pictures of the 3 sisters as cheerleaders at their high school...must have been in the 40's. A picture of my uncle Will in his paratrooper uniform, right before he was shot down and killed in WWII. A picture of my grandmother and her brother as children, that no one but me seemed to know who they were, or had seen that picture before.  (I have that picture too).  All in all, a wonderful trip down memory lane.

  The snow came later there than it did here and we drove into the worst of it on the way to the funeral home. But it all worked out okay, and I went to dinner with my brothers and their wives after the service. That was nice. I forget sometimes how funny my brothers are...The next day, I stayed at my youngest brothers for most of the day and decided to leave in the afternoon so I wouldn't have to drive too much in the dark,. They were predicting a little more snow, and I thought better safe than sorry.  It was a pleasant and uneventful trip, both ways. 

   My nephew is holding his own. They had a big blood drive in Florida yesterday to help repay the blood bank for all the 15 pints he was given and I guess they had a great turnout. He is waking up and he kissed  his wife when she asked him to. He is on a lot of pain medication still, so a bit wonky, but the other drugs they were using to keep him fully sedated are gone, so that's a big deal.  I haven't heard a word from my own sister about anything since the first day it happened, so it's a good thing I can keep in touch with my niece.  This is nothing new on her part. She said she would stay in touch and she didn't and that's pretty much par for the course. She is how she is and that's all I can say about it all. I tell myself it's a tough time and it is..but she calls others and talks to them, so....nothing new under the sun, as they say.

  I made the Irishman a big breakfast this morning of Denver omelets and fresh fruit and biscuits. He has a District Meeting today (he is now DCM--a promotion from Alt. DCM when the regular guy had to have his work schedule changed). His home group meeting ends 2 hours before the District meeting, so he won't drive all the way back home, and I won't see him again until after 8 tonight when I get home.'s just me and the critters here lazing around the house. 

  This place is such a mess, I almost need to hire help to get it cleaned up. (Or get off the computer and get busy).  Nawww....  lol   I am going to do some stuff today, but not kill myself with it. I have some laundry to do that I might start. And maybe run the vacuum...just to freak out the dogs. lol  Then tomorrow I could take the vacuum to the shop, because it is not running's not the motor, but the rolling wheels or something. It likes to hang up on the carpet...and the whole thing needs a tune-up and a cleaning.

  The weather is doing a crazy upswing and supposed to be back in the fifties tomorrow.  (Shaking her head...) This is just so wrong....

  I can't find a suitable picture for the blog this morning, and I guess if that's as bad as it gets, I'm gonna have a good day. lol  Nothing just seems right, so I guess I'll go back through and look again...

  Hope everyone has a peaceful Sunday.

  That's MY plan....


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tickled PINK...

  May I get a drum roll...please ????  Here she is... the Apple iPhone 3 GS...not the Cadillac model that # 4 is maybe, but nonetheless....I purchased her this morning for the outrageous price of NINETY NINE CENTS,  people. Of course, I had to re-sell my soul to AT&T, but still...  lol

  I did actually answer a call today on it and send a text message.  It's a start.

  It has a weather app that follows me wherever I am and tells the temperatures there. Detailed weather reports too. It has google maps and mapquest and facebook and emails and games and a camera and ...lions and tigers and bears, O,MY!!  It has iTunes and Youtube,and clocks and calendars and newspapers and magazines and videos.  Can you bake a cherry pie?, Billy Boy, Billy Boy ??? Can you bake a cherry pie, charming Billy??  It can keep me from getting lost, it can keep me from getting can help me remember, it can help me forget.  

 And I feel like a fookin' eejit with it.  I always said I would never have one of these...but then, I said I'd never have a dvd player either. lol   It's going to take a while to learn all the stuff, I know. And I will probably grow to love it. 



   All in all it was an interesting day. I rushed down to the store in a city about 35 minutes from here around 9:30 and got there just after they opened. I flounced through the double doors and said, dramatically,..."Hello boys!!  Grandma's here !!!   They all laughed and the young man who took care of me (Aaron) was a doll. He patiently explained everything to me and a couple of times I had to interrupt and say--hey, sonny--I was born in 1953, not 1853... 

  Come on, now.

  All in all, it was a good experience there and they were extremely helpful and I came home with a $375.00 phone that cost me .99  (How the heck can they POSSIBLY do that?????)  And I'm really tickled to use it and start figuring it all out.  I kept the boys laughing and a stranger came up and asked me if I liked Texas Roadhouse. I said, sure..and he gave me a card for a free appetizer.  I don't know who he was, an owner maybe...looked too old to be management.  And then Miss Roxie and I came home.


  I made a big skillet of bbq'd ribs for the Irishman for supper, with quinoa and a skillet of sauteed cabbage with shredded carrots and chives in it. It was awesome.

  Tomorrow I will make a pot of chili and some kind of a casserole so he'll have easy food while I'm gone. I also want to make him a couple of veggie burritos for Thursday after work...I won't be here, and he has a class, so needs some mobile food to go with him.

  Heck. I might even bake him a pie...I think I have an unbaked pumpkin one in the freezer, as well as an apple. That would be easy enough.  I have been invited over to my neighbors for breakfast in the morning and then need to pick up some pay and come home and get this house cleaned. I haven't really done a darned thing for several days...I'm pretty sure that if you looked under my dining room table, you find enough dog hair to build a Sheltie or two.  I do have the laundry all done and caught up. I need to pack and figure some things out and get ready for the southward trek.  I paid all the critical bills this afternoon.  

  Geez. I may actually be able to do this with a minimum of discomfort and madness.  LOL


  Well, I am tired and have to get up early for breakfast at the neighbors (8:30). Time to see about a little shuteye, and dream of Steve Jobs and Apples and confront my nightmares of being adrift in a sea of technology. 

  Wish me luck. 


Sunday, January 8, 2012

You don't bring me flowers....any.... more....

Remember that song? I think about it when I think of the movie The Way We Were, with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.  I was pretty young when that movie came out, 1973. The song itself was actually recorded in 1978, 5 years later. But those years are all a bit fuzzy and glopped together in my mind...maybe that's why. lol

  Anyway...I thought of it today when my darling husband brought me a dozen long stemmed roses. Just because. Now, don't ask me why I thought "you don't bring me flowers" when he does and did today bring me flowers, because if I think too hard about it, my head might explode.

  Hard to get a good picture of them...the vase and roses are so long...and it's after midnight and the light is bad.

  But I was so touched by this amazing man I love....when I said hey--my birthdays over, he said--they're not for your birthday. They're just...for you.  Just because.

  A lot of the time, these days, I think I must be living someone else's life.


   So it was chilly today, still warm for January, but not 70. LOL  The sky was sunny off again, on again. I took Miss Roxie to the park when I went into town to go to the market. Thankfully, it was on again then. I went to get some lettuce and tangerines for a big salad I was making us for lunch, as I didn't have enough romaine and hoped to get more, but alas, all they had was iceberg. So...I only got tangerines. I fleshed out the salad with baby kale from the garden and it was awesome.

  I didn't take a picture of that gorgeous thing, but it was made of romaine and baby kale, frozen chives from the garden, reconstituted dried radishes and carrots (FTG),  sunflower seeds, dried cranberries (yup--I dried 'em), tangerine segments, pecans,  and chunks of chilled chicken. Dressed with a poppyseed dressing, it was magnificent!  I woke up this morning, hungry for salad. It made a great lunch and I took some with me to MissB's for my supper too. Then we had a slice of cheesecake with fresh frozen raspberries from back in August.

  All in all, a meal fit for royalty. 


  I have a busy week ahead and have laundry going right now to try to stay on top of things. Tomorrow I am driving 45 minutes south to meet my sister-in-law for  lunch. She's taking me to Olive Garden where we will probably pig out on their soup, salad and bread sticks.  If we don't succumb to something really decadent, like the portabello mushroom raviolis with the smoked cheddar sauce. Or something equally rich and wonderful. LOL   On Tuesday I have a dr appointment and on Wednesday I am taking off work to go down to my cousins old home for the Memorial service which will be held on Thursday for my aunt. I'll stay the night with my brother down there and celebrate my darling niece's birthday that night and Friday. I have a massage scheduled for Thursday that I am going to call tomorrow and reschedule [hopefully] for Wednesday morning. Then sometime Friday night I will head back home to my fur babies and that adorable Irishman of mine. He's going to stay home and caretake the critters. Then I have a sponsling coming out on Saturday morning to start some step work.  Then it's back to work on Saturday afternoon. 

 Man. I'm tired just typing that.  Somewhere Tuesday-Wednesday I have to try to get this house cleaned up a little. If I don't it will be a disaster by the time I get back.  Also need to get some kind of food made for this man to eat while I'm gone.  Maybe a casserole and a pot of some chili. That should take care of him. Not that he can't cook for himself....because he can. I have just gotten him so spoiled that he doesn't. 

  I need a wife.  lol


  I have some bills to pay too and get in the mail tomorrow...most of them I pay online, or EFT, but there are a couple of floaters out there that I have to actually write checks for. And use STAMPS on.'s like the dark ages.  lol

 I am going to buy a new phone this week. It's time for an upgrade and I have decided to step out of the cave and buy an iphone.  I have dug my heels in and refused to do it for the past few years, but I think the time has come.  I can get the phone for almost nothing and I think it's another 15 dollar/month  charge for the internet service. I need to do a little more reading and make sure I have the facts right.

 God--what's next??


  Alright my dears...I am going to hit the hay here in a bit. It's after 1 AM and I have been doing a pretty good job of not staying up so late all the time. The past few days I have been in the sack before midnight. I'm not sure I really feel any better, but I have got to do something about this sleeping thing.  

  I am hurting pretty bad tonight. When Roxie and I went to the park, we walked the perimeter of the place all the way around without stopping to sit once!  (That may not sound like much to you, but for me it is. Between this bum knee and my general bone damage, it's a deal.)  I want to try to walk her there at least five days a week as part of my new and improved rehabilitation/physical exercise routine. I have a set of Zunba  dvd's that I want to use, but my body is not quite ready yet. Soon...


  Adios, friends.  Until tomorrow....